I have been in a huge fitness rut for the last 5 years. I grew up playing sports and have been going to the gym for years, but I found it boring. I'd go through the motions and sure, I'd feel better after I was done, but I wasn't getting the return on the hours I logged at the gym. It felt like huge waste of time (and $$!) and I knew I needed a change - not only in my day to day but in my overall mindset.
Barre workouts have been gaining momentum over the last few years with lots of studios popping up around town, but I'd never thought much of it. I've done ballet growing up and learned and executed: excellent posture, how to do a perfect bun and a fear of tripping and falling into a wall (resulting in a goose egg bump (true story)). As an adult, ballet never seemed to fit into my schedule.
I've driven by The Dailey Method so many times, always looking up at the window that proudly states: 'LONGER, LEANER, STRONGER'. I decided my fitness rut needed to end and took up their new client unlimited month promotion - because why not! The schedule had both barre and cycle classes which I liked but I was concerned barre classes wasn't going to be enough to get my calorie burn in. I was very wrong.
Often when I'm at the gym - sometimes at boutique studios - I feel so uncomfortable from the second I walk in, paranoid everyone can tell I'm new. I don't know what I'm doing and I'm tempted to turn and walk out. I'm also not the girl with the cutest workout outfits and far from a "perfect" body and, in a city like Vancouver, where there are beautiful women at every corner, it's so intimidating I'd almost rather stay home.
The Daily Method was different. I felt completely comfortable as soon as I walked in, the rooms are bright and calming; the teachers greet the regulars by name and are sure to seek out anyone new to make sure they're set up for their practice and feel comfortable. It's these humanized touches that put me at ease. There are all ages and sizes in the classes which make it a great and welcoming dynamic.
During the class, the teachers make it a point to use everyone's name and provide encouragement throughout class. Not only does it motivate you but it also builds your confidence to continue to challenge yourself outside your comfort zone. They recite: "listen to your body first and the teacher's voice second." When the teacher tells you the plank you're holding is working 650 muscles (!!) you think to yourself, "I'm pretty impressed with myself" and tough it out for the last 30 seconds. I'm also guilty of staring at clocks during gym classes or on the treadmill, curious how time could feel like it's actually moving backwards... In The Dailey Method classes there is no clock to even distract you.
One of the biggest things I took away from going to the Dailey Method (almost everyday for the first month!), was the fact that I wanted to go everyday - not because I was obsessed with burning X amount of calories - but because I craved the way I felt when I was done. Every class I left feeling a little bit stronger; I could feel my body responding to this new routine: I held the plank for longer and I could complete the push up sequence without using my knees! Don't get me wrong, I also left with shaky legs, incredibly sore muscles and dripping sweat. But I was completely hooked. I kept coming back for the mental break from the world. It's my favourite way to start or end my day.
I think I've found the cure for my fitness rut - and I'm addicted. This is one barre that never gets old.
Go outside your comfort zone, try something new!
All photos taken by the talented @thehappyjess